Optimal replenishment rate for inventory systems with compound Poisson demands and lost sales: a direct treatment of time-average cost

Michael N. Katehakis, Benjamin Melamed, Jim Junmin Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Supply contracts are designed to minimize inventory costs or to hedge against undesirable events (e.g., shortages) in the face of demand or supply uncertainty. In particular, replenishment terms stipulated by supply contracts need to be optimized with respect to overall costs, profits, service levels, etc. In this paper, we shall be primarily interested in minimizing an inventory cost function with respect to a constant replenishment rate. Consider a single-product inventory system under continuous review with constant replenishment and compound Poisson demands subject to lost-sales. The system incurs inventory carrying costs and lost-sales penalties, where the carrying cost is a linear function of on-hand inventory and a lost-sales penalty is incurred per lost sale occurrence as a function of lost-sale size. We first derive an integro-differential equation for the expected cumulative cost until and including the first lost-sale occurrence. From this equation, we obtain a closed form expression for the time-average inventory cost, and provide an algorithm for a numerical computation of the optimal replenishment rate that minimizes the aforementioned time-average cost function. In particular, we consider two special cases of lost-sales penalty functions: constant penalty and loss-proportional penalty. We further consider special demand size distributions, such as constant, uniform and Gamma, and take advantage of their functional form to further simplify the optimization algorithm. In particular, for the special case of exponential demand sizes, we exhibit a closed form expression for the optimal replenishment rate and its corresponding cost. Finally, a numerical study is carried out to illustrate the results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)665-691
Number of pages27
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Management Science and Operations Research


  • Compound Poisson
  • Continuous replenishment
  • Integro-differential equation
  • Lost sales
  • Production-inventory systems
  • Replenishment rate
  • Time-average cost


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimal replenishment rate for inventory systems with compound Poisson demands and lost sales: a direct treatment of time-average cost'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this